NHL releases full 2010-11 schedule of events

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The NHL has released it’s schedule of events for next season, and it’s a jam-packed schedule full of big events that is sure to put the NHL and hockey at the forefront of the sports world. At least, I’m sure that’s what the NHL is hoping will happen.

By now, you’ve heard the news of the 2011 Winter Classic being played at Heinz Field between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals. We also have news on the NHL All-Star game, the big NHL premiere weekend that will take place in Europe as well as the big news of a second outdoor game in Canada.

A couple of notes:

First off, the NHL is planning a Heritage Classic outdoor game between Calgary and Montreal, to be broadcast on CBC, RDS, and Versus. The NHL just needs the competition committee to approve the game in June.

The full NHL schedule for next season will be released on June 22.

Here’s the full schedule of events:

2010-11 NHL EVENTS
Kraft
Hockeyville, Sep. 28, Sabres v. Senators
Compuware NHL PremiereTM,
Oct. 7-10: Blue Jackets v. Sharks, Stockholm; Hurricanes v. Wild
Helsinki;
Bruins v. Coyotes, Prague
NHL Face-Off, Oct. 7, Canadiens v. Maple
Leafs, Toronto, ON
NHL Hall of Fame Game, Nov. 6
Bridgestone NHL
Winter Classic, Jan. 1: Capitals v. Penguins, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
NHL
All-Star Weekend, Jan. 29-30: Raleigh, NC
Hockey Day In Canada, Feb.
12
Hockey Day in America, Feb. 20
NHL Heritage ClassicTM,
Feb. 20: Canadiens v. Flames, McMahon Stadium, Calgary, AB (pending
approval of the Competition Committee)
2011 Stanley Cup® Playoffs,
April 13
NHL AwardsTM, Jun. 22, Las Vegas, NV
NHL Entry
Draft, Jun. 24-25, St. Paul, MN

Full release after the jump


NEW YORK (May 28, 2010) – The National Hockey League announced
today its schedule of signature events for the 2010-11 NHL season. A
record number of events are slated for this upcoming season, setting up
the NHL’s business for another successful year. Revenue generated from
the League’s large-scale events last season was up 22 percent over the
previous year and helped propel the League’s fourth consecutive year of
business growth, which included record-setting television ratings and
digital metrics across its platforms; as well as an unprecedented level
of NHL business partner activation.

Kraft Hockeyville

The NHL begins its season with the ultimate grassroots event that
gives communities across Canada the honor of hosting an NHL game from
their very own local arena. Dundas, Ontario, this year’s winning
community, represents the fifth winner of the annual Kraft Hockeyville
program.
On Tuesday, September 28, Dundas will host a 2010-11 NHL
pre-season game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators at
the newly renovated J.L. Grightmire Market Street Arena. Together with
the National Hockey League, National Hockey League Players’ Association
and CBC Television, Kraft connects family and friends through their
passion for hockey and pride for their community. Kraft Canada provides
$100,000 in arena upgrades to the winning community and $25,000 to each
of the four runner-up communities.

Compuware NHL Premiere

The 2010-11 NHL regular-season will launch on two continents next
October with the League celebrating its fourth consecutive year of
regular-season games taking place across Europe. An unprecedented six
NHL® teams – Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets,
Minnesota Wild, Phoenix Coyotes and San Jose Sharks – will open the
season by playing six games in Europe as part of 2010 Compuware NHL
PremiereTM and NHL Face-OffTM.

The
Hurricanes and Wild will play two regular-season games against each
other at Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, Finland, on Thursday, Oct. 7 and
Friday, Oct. 8. The Blue Jackets and Sharks will square off for two
games at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday, Oct. 8
and Saturday, Oct. 9. Meanwhile, the Bruins and Coyotes will play each
other at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, on Saturday, Oct. 9 and
Sunday, Oct. 10.

VERSUS, as well as local rightsholders will
televise the action live to fans in the U.S. In Canada, TSN will
provide live coverage.

Prior to the start of the regular
season in October, all six NHL teams will square off against European
competition in a series of exhibition games spanning across Europe.
Included in those games will be the first-ever visits by an NHL team to
Belfast, Ireland; Mannheim, Germany; Riga, Latvia; and St. Petersburg,
Russia.

NHL Face-Off

NHL Face-Off-the League’s annual launch
event in North America-welcomes the beginning of the 2010-11 NHL season
in North America on Oct. 7 with the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting
arch-rival Montreal Canadiens live on CBC. The League will officially
celebrate the start of the season with an opening day hockey and
entertainment festival in Toronto providing fans the opportunity to
celebrate the coming of a historic NHL season. CBC will present a
second game that evening as part of an opening-night doubleheader when
the Edmonton Oilers host the Calgary Flames.

In the U.S., the
season begins with a special doubleheader on VERSUS. Both Stanley Cup
finalists will take to the ice when the Flyers play Pittsburgh, followed
by the Blackhawks squaring off against the Colorado Avalanche.

Hall
of Fame

The Hall of Fame Game will be played on Saturday,
November 6, when the Toronto Maple Leafs will face either the Buffalo
Sabres or Chicago Blackhawks. The Hall of Fame inductions will take
place on Monday, November 8. CBC’s “Hockey Night In Canada” will once
again provide full coverage of all of the festivities that evening.

Bridgestone
NHL Winter Classic

The much anticipated Bridgestone NHL Winter
Classic lands at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in 2011-home of the
Pittsburgh Steelers. Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin lead their
respective teams in the outdoor classic when the Pittsburgh Penguins
host the Washington Capitals in the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter ClassicTM
on New Year’s Day. The NHL’s fiercest rivalry will face-off at 1 p.m.
ET in the classic, which Forbes magazine calls the best new sporting
event of the last decade. NBC will provide live broadcast coverage of
the game in the U.S. In Canada, CBC and RDS will televise the event
live. NHL Radio and Sirius XM Radio will provide radio coverage and
NHL.com will have extensive digital coverage. Fans can be first in line
to receive the updates and alerts on ticketing, news and other
information by visiting NHL.com for its continuing coverage on all
things related to the 2011 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic.

NHL
All-Star Game

The League’s mid-season spectacular returns when the
Carolina Hurricanes and the city of Raleigh host the 2011 National
Hockey League All-Star Celebration on Saturday, January 29 and Sunday,
January 30 and will include Honda NHL SuperSkills® and the 58th NHL
All-Star Game at RBC Center. The action from both nights will be
covered live by VERSUS, CBC and RDS. The 2011 NHL All-Star Game will
mark the first time Carolina has hosted NHL All-Star activities. The
2011 NHL All-Star Game will feature various hockey-themed events,
entertainment and activities. Further details on the 2011 NHL All-Star
Celebration, including ticket and broadcast details, will be released at
a later date.

Hockey Day In Canada and Hockey Day In America

February
promises to be a historic month for hockey in both Canada and the
United States. CBC’s 11th annual Hockey Day In Canada will take place on
Saturday, February 12 with the following triple header on CBC’s “Hockey
Night In Canada”: Ottawa at Edmonton (2pm ET), Toronto at Montreal (7
pm ET), and Calgary at Vancouver (10pm ET). Hockey Day In Canada
celebrates Canada’s love and devotion to the game of hockey with
celebrations in communities throughout the country.

The NHL and
NBC salute roots of the game, its traditions and pageantry with Hockey
Day in America on Sunday, Feb. 20. As part of USA Hockey’s Hockey
Weekend Across America, presented by Reebok, the day-long event will
celebrate hockey with a slate of NHL games that are scheduled to include
Philadelphia, New York Rangers, Washington, Buffalo, Detroit,
Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Boston.

NHL Heritage Classic

The
NHL also hopes to play an outdoor regular season game in Canada next
season and will be discussing the plan with the Competition Committee in
June. The Heritage Classic would be played at McMahon Stadium in
Calgary on Sunday, February 20 and would feature the Montreal Canadiens
and Calgary Flames. CBC and RDS would carry the game in Canada and
VERSUS would telecast the outdoor match in the United States. Assuming
plans for the game are approved, it will be the first NHL regular season
game contested outdoors in Canada since the Edmonton Oilers hosted the
Canadiens at first Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium on November
22, 2003. Fans wishing to follow all the news and information about the
NHL Heritage Classic can log-on to nhl.com.

2011 Stanley Cup
Playoffs

The 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin on
Wednesday, April 13. The last possible date for Game 7 of the Stanley
Cup Final is scheduled for Friday, June 17, 2011.

NHL Awards

A
new tradition continues Wednesday, June 22 in Las Vegas when the top
NHL stars join forces with celebrities from music, stage and screen for a
celebration of hockey’s best at the 2011 NHL Awards at the Pearl
Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. The Awards once
again will celebrate the best of the best in hockey on and off the ice.
Television partners CBC and VERSUS will return for the latest
installment of this renowned event.

NHL Entry Draft

Wrapping
up the historic NHL season will take the League to the “State of
Hockey” as the Minnesota Wild host the 2011 NHL® Entry Draft at Xcel
Energy Center in St. Paul. The Entry Draft will be held over two days,
Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25. TSN will provide live
round-by-round coverage of the draft in Canada, while in the U.S.,
Friday’s first round will be live on VERSUS and Saturday’s Rounds 2-7
will be televised by NHL Network. The 2011 NHL Entry Draft will be the
second-ever held in the state of Minnesota and the first at Xcel Energy
Center – a building home to 409 consecutive Wild sellouts. The NHL
Entry Draft has grown significantly since the first such event was held
in a Montreal hotel ballroom in 1963. In Minnesota, NHL club
executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the Entry Draft floor
while more than 10,000 fans and more than 500 print, television and
radio media are expected.

The Buzzer: Night of the goalies

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Players of the Night:

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning needed Vasilevskiy to play like the NHL All-Star that he is and that’s exactly what he gave them, stopping 40 shots to help the Lightning to a 2-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. The win was important for Tampa, who regained the top spot in the NHL standings and ended a three-game slide in the process. Vasilevskiy’s league-leading seventh shutout of the season ties a franchise record.

Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings: Mrazek fielded 37 shots from the New Jersey Devils on Monday night and handled each and every one of them for his second shutout in as many starts.

Nick Cousins, Arizona Coyotes: Cousins got the ball rolling for the Desert Dogs in the first period, giving them a 1-0 lead. After the Islanders tied the game in the third, Cousins put the final stamp on the game with a goal 2:21 into overtime to give Arizona their second straight win.

Comeback of the Night:

Jason Zucker, Minnesota Wild: Zucker got drilled in the head with a slap shot in the first period and had to be helped off the ice. Miraculously, Zucker returned a short time later and went on to score the game-winning goal at the 4:59 mark of the third period, breaking a 1-1 tie in the Wild’s 3-1 win against the Ottawa Senators.

Highlights of the Night:

Granlund and Dumba:

Mrazek made plenty of saves on Monday and perhaps none better than this one (Brian Boyle‘s reaction is priceless):

Ottawa Senators fans will like this, even if the end result wasn’t great:

Auston Matthews had the celebration of the night:

Factoids of the Night:

Scores:

Avalanche 4, Maple Leafs 2

Red Wings 3, Devils 0

Wild 3, Senators 1

Lightning 2, Blackhawks 0

Sabres 2, Flames 1 (OT)

Coyotes 3, Islanders 2 (OT)


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Lightning end three-game skid with 2-0 win over Blackhawks

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Jon Cooper called declared that his team was “out of sync” prior to Monday night’s game in Chicago.

It’s three words that haven’t been used at all this season to describe the Tampa Bay Lightning who, up until Sunday, was known as the best team in the NHL.

The Lightning came into Monday night nursing a three-game losing streak, another foreign concept for a team saw four of its players elected to the NHL’s All-Star Game this coming weekend.

But just as quickly as they dropped out of the top spot in the NHL — the Vegas Golden Knights assumed that throne for 24 hours after a win on Sunday night — the Lightning snatched it back in a 2-0 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks in the Windy City on Monday.

For a team that perhaps forgot how to play with one another, they looked comfortable in each other’s company against the Blackhawks.

The game was tight for the most part, and it took the Blackhawks being caught napping shorthanded to break a 0-0 deadlock late in the second period as Chris Kunitz took advantage of a defensive mishap. 

Jake Dotchin’s wrister sailed wide, but Kunitz was allowed to waltz behind the net, pick up the loose puck and put it behind Jeff Glass, nearly untouched through the whole process.

The NHL’s top goalie once again lived up to the distinction as Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside all 40 shots that came his way.

The Blackhawks put up 10 or more shots in each of the game’s three periods, including 17 in the second frame. But the All-Star netminder played and exceptional game, including stopping 10 out of 10 on the power play to keep Chicago 0-for-6 on the power play.

Yanni Gourde sealed the game late in the third with a blast to make it 2-0.

It’s a win Tampa needed, especially after finding out they’ll miss forward Ondrej Palat indefinitely.

The struggles continued for the Blackhawks, meanwhile.

Chicago has now been shutout twice in their past three games and is on a three-game skid with a 4-5-1 record in their past 10.

The Lightning could afford their losing streak. They’ve earned an opportunity to slide a little bit.

For the Blackhawks, another loss means another chance missed trying to survive in a deeply competitive Central Division.

The Blackhawks are hanging by a thread and time is running out quickly.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

The Colorado Avalanche’s win streak hits double digits

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The streak is now in double digits.

The Colorado Avalanche won their 10th straight game on Monday night, taking down the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2.

Yes, that’s 10 wins by the team that ended last season with an NHL-worst 48 points.

Hockey is wonderful, isn’t it?

The Avalanche have been pretty darn good during that streak, outscoring opponents 41-16 during that span. Scoring four goals per game on average will win you more than it won’t.

And the Avs have had success on the back end. Jonathan Bernier has been completely lights out during the streak. He is on a streak of his own with nine straight wins, becoming the third netminder in franchise history to win nine in a row after Stephane Fiset (9) and Patrick Roy (11).

Colorado’s streak is also an NHL-best this season and it’s the second longest streak in Avs history (they won 12 straight during the 1998-99 season).

The Avs are sitting on 57 points, good for the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Jason Zucker takes a puck to the head (video)

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How in the world did he get up?

Too many players have been getting drilled in the head lately by slap shots. It’s an ugly site to behold whenever it happens

Somehow, however, Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild was able to pop right back up and head directly to the dressing room. No passing GO on this one.

The puck hit him so squarely in the helmet that it ricocheted back toward the Thomas Chabot, who uncorked the shot in the first place.

Even more insane is that Zucker was able to return to the game.

Talk about hard-headed.